Otterpool Park Update

The Planning application timetable for Otterpool Park according to confidential documents make it clear that the promoters Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) and Cozumel Estates are “aiming” to submit their planning application to the Local Planning Authority (FHDC) at/by the end of November 2018.

When it comes to delivering Otterpool Park, if it gets the go ahead, there are two possibilities outlined in the confidential documents released under a Freedom of Information Request. The two methods of possible delivery are:

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 22-29-42

At this moment in time it is not known whether the promoters Folkestone & Hythe District Council & Cozumel Estates Limited will choose the master developer approach or sell off plots to various developers.

On Jan 31st at a special meeting of Folkestone & Hythe District Council Cabinet, it was resolved that the council agrees in principle to using its compulsory purchase powers (CPO) if necessary to assemble land, (Voting figures: 9 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions)

In March 2018, property owners between Barrowhill Sellindge and Newingreen on the A20, Ashford Rd, received letters from the Otterpool Park Collaboration Board (FHDC and Cozumel Estates) setting out if there property may or may not be subject to a potential CPO at some later point.

Screenshot from 2018-10-03 14-18-05

Now another thing which happened in March and more specifically on the 21 March 2018 was the initial Collaboration Agreement between the Council, Cozumel Estates Ltd (BVI Company) – the promoters – and Investors in Private Capital Limited (IPCL) – the Guarantor  for Cozumel (IPCL are owned by a BVI Company by the name of Wellington Estates Limited)  extended the agreement the original agreement until March 31st 2019. The Cozumel signature was that of Alexander Bushaev who turns up in the Panama Papers not once, not twice, but three times


In April/May 2018 a Savills Consultant by the name of  David Parry who

  • specialises in advising on options, promotion agreements, and sales and acquisitions of development land including mixed use schemes. His role includes the disposal of development land, including properties for conversion, as well as carrying out viability studies on all sizes of development sites, including strategic and proposed garden villages and towns.”

Screenshot from 2018-10-03 14-02-11

made his way along the Ashford Rd between Barrowhill, Sellindge and Newingreen talking to business owners and home-owners who had received a letter from the Otterpool Park Collaboration Board in late March 2018.  However, so home-owners received letters making it clear that their property was within the boundary and Mr Parry’s job was then to assess and value any property the Collaboration Board may wish to purchase or use a Compulsory Purchase Order on.

On the 1 February 2017 Otterpool Park Collaboration Board meeting in London, the notes released and long since been in the public domain state at para 1.2:

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 21-27-02

However, property owners our public face has spoken to, have said he, Mr Parry, made clear in his visit to property owners between Barrowhill Sellindge and Newingreen he was representing Cozumel Estates Ltd who are the one of the promoters who are represented on the Collaboration board. Now 30 plus memories cannot all be at fault, can they? So Mr Parry, who commissioned you?

Moving on the Collaboration Board meetings are NOT the only meetings that have been going on. Since Feb 2017 and beyond there have been CONFIDENTIAL meetings between Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) as the Local Planning Authority and FHDC and Cozumel Estates Ltd as the Promoter, relating to Pre application planning advice meetings

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In May 2018 there were four confidential meetings where pre-application advice was given and the last was in July 2018.

In these confidential documents they make clear that only the availability of electricity will be likely for the first six years – so to 2026.

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 22-05-52

They discuss the potential for 8000 jobs in B1/B2 types of property

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 22-13-25

And biodiversity and admit to discovering the Great Crested Newts across the nine ponds

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 22-20-03

And they speak about schools and GP’s too

Screenshot from 2018-10-04 22-45-22

Of course, there is much more in the documents and you can if so minded and/or are affected by this development read them at your leisure and let us know what your thoughts are.

Coming back to Compulsory Purchase Orders, there needs to be a compelling case in the public interest for compulsory purchase to take place. Objectors are entitled to be heard before a Planning Inspector before a decision is made by the Secretary of State. This is a vital safeguard. Compulsory purchase has to be justified, with the evidence tested, in public and with an independent decision made. Compulsory purchase orders are made by local authorities and rejected by Ministers. Compulsory purchase is sometimes pursued for schemes which are proved at  inquiry not to be viable: a major compulsory purchase order in Brighouse, West Yorkshire was rejected after the developer’s own viability witness conceded that his client would be ‘bonkers’ to proceed with the project.

So nearly three years on since the Council placed their tender for £5.2 million to purchase the Champney’s land at Otterpool Lane we find ourselves now just weeks away from a planning application being submitted according to confidential documents released by the Council under FoI. That said, it is our personal belief that deadline will be missed.

We ask you the people of our wonderful district if the Otterpool Park development is “bonkers”.  Only you know the answer to that.

The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a Crime.

There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly, unless found so by a court of law.

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2 Comments on Otterpool Park Update

  1. Lets hope that they do miss the deadline. Hopefully, until after next May, when the make-up of the unopposed, self-interest, conservative cartel might be different.

  2. The deadline will more than likely be missed. CP’s reference to any’ Conservative Cartel is flawed. Councillors, particularly Conservative, vote for what they believe, unlike others who vote as directed. Read the reports of earlier meetings and and see their voting trends.

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